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Antigone. English 9(1). Activator. Think of a time when you believed that you were right about a situation. What was that situation, and with whom did you disagree? When you are right, how far will you go in asserting your beliefs?. The Essential Question.

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English 9(1)


Think of a time when you believed

that you were right about a situation.

What was that situation, and with

whom did you disagree?

When you are right, how far will you

go in asserting your beliefs?

The essential question
The Essential Question

Is it our responsibility to rebel against and break an unjust law?

Consider: The Patriot Act




Required to

Intercept and



Greek drama
Greek Drama

Drama originated during ancient Greek celebrations in the honor of Dionysus, the god of wine.

The Conductor:

Choral Songs:

Take Notes!!!

The chorus in antigone
The Chorus in Antigone

The chorus serves as an intermediary

between the actors and the audience.

They produce imagery through their

words to create scenery that in those

days did not exist.

Consider how the chorus’ attitude towards Creon changes throughout the play.

The values explored in antigone
The Values Explored in Antigone

The Greek philosopher Aristotle divided the means of persuasion and appeals into three categories:

Ethos, Pathos and Logos.

Consider how each of these values are explored in the drama.

Be sure to take notes on each strategy of persuasion as it appears in the play.


  • Pathos appeals rely on emotions and feelings to persuade the audience.

  • They are often direct, simple, and very powerful.


  • “Logos appeals” rely on the audience’s intelligence to persuade them.

  • Education causes audiences to be more skeptical of emotional arguments.


  • Ethos is a person’s credibility with a given audience. It can mean sincerity, authority, expertise, faithfulness etc.


Tracking RhetoricThe first column identifies the persuasive technique, the second identifies the quote or image that applies. The third column is for your notes.

Greek beliefs
Greek Beliefs

Rituals for the Dead

The Gates of Hades

The precursor
The Precursor

The entire plot of Antigone is based on previous actions in Oedipus the King.

A quick summary from

Oedipus the King Summary

How It All Goes Down

King Oedipus, aware that a terrible curse has befallen Thebes, sends his brother-in-law, Creon, to seek the advice of Apollo. Creon informs Oedipus that the curse will be lifted if the murderer of Laius, the former king, is found and prosecuted. Laius was murdered many years ago at a crossroads.

The search
The Search

Oedipus dedicates himself to the discovery and prosecution of Laius’s murderer. Oedipus subjects a series of unwilling citizens to questioning, including a blind prophet. Teiresias, the blind prophet, informs Oedipus that Oedipus himself killed Laius. This news really bothers Oedipus, but his wife Jocasta tells him not to believe in prophets, they've been wrong before.

As an example, she tells Oedipus about how she and King Laius had a son who was prophesied to kill the father and have sex with her. Well, she and Laius had the child killed, so obviously that prophecy didn't come true…?

The origins
The Origins

Jocasta's story doesn't comfort Oedipus.

As a child, an old man told Oedipus that he was adopted, and that he would eventually kill his biological father and sleep with his biological mother. Not to mention, Oedipus once killed a man at a crossroads, which sounds a lot like the way Laius died.

The realization
The Realization

Jocasta urges Oedipus not to look into the past any further, but he stubbornly ignores her. Oedipus goes on to question a messenger and a shepherd, both of whom have information about how Oedipus was abandoned as an infant and adopted by a new family.

In a moment of insight, Jocasta realizes that she is Oedipus’s mother and that Laius was his father. Horrified at what has happened, she kills herself. Shortly thereafter, Oedipus, too, realizes that he was Laius’s murder and that he’s been married to (and having children with) his mother. In horror and despair, he gouges his eyes out and is exiled from Thebes.

Cast of characters
Cast of Characters

  • Antigone

  • Ismene

  • Creon

  • Haemon

  • Teiresias

  • A messenger

  • Euridice

  • Chorus of Theban Elders

So now thebes is left without a king antigone begins
So now Thebes is left without a king.~Antigone Begins~

  • Two armies battle for control of Thebes until only the two brothers remain alive – Eteocles and Polynices (Both sons of Oedipus)

  • Eteocles and Polynices kill each other in battle.

  • Because Eteocles fought with Creon’s (Oedipus’ successor) support, he was awarded full burial rites.

  • Polynices was left outside the city gates to rot because he fought against Creon.

    *Remember, Creon is Oedipus’ brother who gained control of Theses after Oedipus’ exile and death.

Man vs divinity
Man vs Divinity

  • Antigone defies Creon’s law and plans to bury her brother.

  • Ismene refuses to help, citing man’s law.

  • Antigone says the gods’ law is more important.

  • Antigone moves from love to anger towards her sister.

  • Antigone warns Ismene to tell Creon her plan; other wise Ismene could be punished as well.

The conflict
The Conflict

  • Woman with audacity to challenge a male dominated world

  • Vindictiveness of the King

  • Right of a human being to dispute an unjust law

    *Recall a connection to the essential question.

Antigone vs ismeme
Antigone Vs Ismeme

  • Is told about the decree by Antigone

  • Passive & willing to accept the law

  • Speaks indirectly

  • Distances herself from reality

  • Loves Antigone and wants to keep her from harm

  • Already knows about Creon’s decree

  • Forceful and aggressive

  • Speaks directly

  • Faces the reality of the situation

  • Confidence in herself

  • Rash and loyal



  • Reversal

  • Reversal and recognition occur at the same time immediately after Tiresias reveals his prophecy about what is to come of Creon’s life.

  • Reversal occurs with the change in Creon’s attitude: he now asks the leader for advice and his opinion

  • “I and my better judgment / have come round to this—I shackled her, / I’ll set her free myself. I am afraid… / it’s best to keep the established laws / to the very day you die” (1234 – 1238).




show me a greater crime in all the earth!

She, she destroys cities, rips up houses,

breaks the ranks of spearmen into headlong rout.

But the ones who last it out, the great mass of them

owe their lives to discipline. Therefore

we must defend the men who live by law,

never let some woman triumph over us.

Better to fall from power, if fall we must,

at the hands of a man—never be rated

inferior to a woman, never.

(pg.94, 752-761)


  • Antigone:

  • …If this is the pleasure of the gods, / once I suffer I will know that I was wrong. / But if there men are wrong, let them suffer / nothing worse than they mete out to me— / these masters of injustice! (pg.106, 1017 – 1021).


  • Creon:

  • …Believe me, the stiffest stubborn wills fall the hardest…And I’ve known spirited horses you can break / with a light bit – proud, rebellious horses. / There’s no room for pride, not in a slave, / not with the lord and master standing by. (pg.83, 528-535)